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Leah and I had last Friday off and conditions looked good so we took the opportunity to do some diving off of Phil’s boat. After some discussion back and forth we decided on diving the Needle. Neither one of us had ever dove the site before so it was a chance to see something new. After a quick load up and launch of Phil’s RIB we motored out to the site and went through our gear checks. For this dive we were using 21/35 and spend some time deeper before ascending to conduct a second portion of the dive on 32%. On the way down we passed by a nice school of rockfish before hitting the western portion of the wall. We started circumnavigating the pinnacle counter clockwise and immediately noticed the barnacle invasion had clearly made it was to the site. Even still though there was good bunches of hydro coral that were looking very healthy and quite a large number of decorator type crabs on the site. At one point we counted at least five of them in a small area. Apparently they were all playing pretty nice. Another unusual aspect was the very large numbers of sea urchins on the site. Several large urchins and many smaller ones were out in the open with out a care in the world. Apparently the sea otters have not found this honey hole yet. Swinging around the backside we stopped to admire several large lingcods as well as a “ginormous” vermillion. He had to be at least 50 pounds! Coming up to our shallower portion of dive we got to admire the healthy walking stick kelp and explored the south side of the pinnacle. Here is where the sites color all seems to be concentrated. The entire wall is covered in pinks and lavenders of corynactis as well as several healthy colonies of sponges and other invertebrates. A bit later we shot the bag and headed for the surface after a bit of time on deco where a sea lion decided to dive bomb us. What a wonderful site that is perfect for an R3 dive.
Great to hear you had a good time at the Needle. It's perfect for multi-level dive. Did you guys found the eye of the Needle at about 60ft on the south end. It's hole full of red sea cucumbers and sometimes GPO are inside it.